To Grandmother's block we go?
June 4, 2009 6:02 PM Subscribe
Trying to decide just how close to move to our kid's (very enthusiastic) grandparents. If you've experienced the childrearing-with-nearby-grands situation (as kid, grand OR parent), how did it work out? Any advice on encouraging involvement while still maintaining boundaries?
posted by Bardolph to Human Relations (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My family (me, husband, infant daughter) will soon be relocating for work reasons. Conveniently, this will also put us in the same area where my parents live. We're currently in the process of house-hunting, and most of what we've seen falls into one of two categories: either very very close (5-10min) to the folks, or moderately far away (~35-40min).
Both of my parents will be retired within 5 years and have expressed interest in babysitting, which is a definite plus. I'm a little concerned, though, because my mom, while awesome, is a pretty dominant person, not great on dialogue, and has already started to be mildly critical of my parenting choices (nothing major; just your garden-variety lecturing about how the baby would sleep so much better if I'd just put her on her stomach, how I'm buying into Internet hoohah by opting for phthalate-free baby items, etc.). I'm wondering just how complicated it will be to keep a loving and open relationship with the grands while still maintaining my nuclear family as a separate entity and emphasizing to everyone that Mr. B and I have the final authority as parents.
Since geographical proximity will obviously matter a lot in how this plays out, I'd love some perspectives from grandparents, children or parents who've either loved or hated having the generations living very close to one another. (Obviously, a lot of this will depend on individual personalities, but I'm hoping others' experiences will alert me to considerations that might not have occurred to me.) Bonus points if anyone can speak to the boundaries issue, but really, I'll take commentary on any part of the situation, pros and cons alike. Thanks!!